Well, I am here in the Salt Lake City Airport awaiting my connecting flight home. It was such a great trip! I have mixed feelings about returning. I did not want to leave Tuscany yet I miss my kids and need to get home to them. Perfect solution–next time I go to Tuscany take the whole family! Seriously, that would be awesome to do some day.
Our flight from Florence to Paris was uneventful. The flight from Paris to Salt Lake….not quite as smooth, mostly because of terminal 2E at Charles de Gaulle airport. Once on the flight things went just fine. But getting there is a true hassle. My Dad and Gwenn warned us it would be bad and they were right.
First off, we called a taxi from the hotel. Traffic was not bad, and we got to the airport from the Marriott Courtyard in Sant’ Denis in about 15 or 20 minutes. But the taxi driver was fishy. To get to the hotel it cost us 41 euros, but to get from the hotel to the airport it was 55 euro. I argued. He said there was a surcharge for Sundays, and for a pick-up. What a joke. But how do I know? I think I need to read up on dealing with taxi drivers in other countries so I can be armed with information next time. The taxi driver that took my Dad and Gwenn to the hotel from the airport totally ran up the meter by taking every inefficient road imaginable. So….what it the best way to deal with this? If any of you have ideas I would love to hear them.
We arrived at the terminal at 8:30 in the morning for an 11 am flight. We already had our bags checked and our boarding passes since we were just on a long layover. But we still arrived at our gate only just in time to get on the plane. Unbelievable!
First you go through a customs line. That took 30 minutes. All that happens here is that you get your passport stamped. Then you go to security. This line didn’t even move for 20 minutes. It was hot and stuffy to boot. Jake, who got a bit behind us in the customs line, was pulled out and put in a different line. It went quicker. After waiting in line for 45 minutes, we ascertained that we absolutely would miss our flight at this rate. We got the attention of an employee, who moved us to a different line. That went quicker, but it was still another 25 minutes or so. Then, their security is not near as thorough as security in the US! We didn’t have to take off our shoes, and a few liquids went through unnoticed. We finally arrive at out gate just to get in line to board. We passed another security check where an employee asked more questions, scanned our ticket, and then we went to another line where someone scanned the ticket again. Hmmm……quite redundant.
Once we arrived in Salt Lake, we zipped very quickly through customs, dropped off our luggage, and got boarding passes within just a few minutes. Then we went through security again and it was quick, thorough, and efficient. And there is air conditioning here! Woo hoo!
I am not sure how Charles de Gaulle airport can be avoided for much European travel, since it is an important hub. But if we hadn’t already had our luggage checked and our boarding passes, we would have missed our flight…even with giving ourselves 2.5 hours. So be warned!
Dear Salt Lake airport. I love you. And your free Wifi.